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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Saudi technical team in Qatar to re-open embassy

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The move comes within the framework of restoring all diplomatic ties with Qatar after all GCC countries and Egypt signed the Al-Ula Declaration earlier this month.

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, has revealed that his country has sent a technical team to Qatar to work on re-opening Riyadh’s embassy in Doha. Farhan added that. the mission is expected to open its doors ‘within days.’

This latest news comes in line with the commitments made by Saudi Arabia’s government at the Al-Ula summit, which brought about the end of a three-year long illegal blockade on Qatar. 

“I think everyone will work hard to fulfil the agreement and the spirit of the agreement,” the Prince said in a television interview. “What we have seen is that everyone is incredibly eager for the agreement to work”

The minister also told Al Arabiya that Riyadh considers all relations with Doha to be fully restored, with the latest being the re-opening of the embassy. 

“We consider that relations have gone back to normal and there’s now a technical team in Doha working to re-open the embassy, which we believe will happen in the upcoming days,” he added.

Read also: Bahrain seizes 130 properties belonging to Qatar’s royal family

Unlike Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have yet to announce any moves regarding the re-opening of their diplomatic missions in Doha despite being signatories to the agreement. 

More specifically, Bahrain has been in dispute with Qatar during the past couple of months. In December, before the agreement was signed, at least three Bahraini vessels trespassed into Doha’s territorial waters, one of which had on board a Bahraini bodybuilding champion who was later released by Qatari authorities. In addition, four Bahraini fighter jets breached Qatar’s airspace, a claim Manama later called “baseless.”  

Last week, Bahrain seized 130 properties belonging to the children of Khalid bin Nasser Al Missned, cousins of Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, which they said was a move made “in order to expand government facilities as requested by the Ministry of Interior.”

Furthermore, a Qatari family was also stopped from entering Bahrain because they did not obtain an “online visa” beforehanda requirement that was only necessary during blockade. 

Is Bahrain playing the role of saboteur in GCC reconciliation?

When asked about other countries’ stance, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said that all GCC countries “agree on the importance of reconciliation and what was agreed upon at Al-Ula and building on it in the future.” 

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